WASHINGTON: Former UN ambassador Nikki Haley has moved closer to the widely-expected launch of her US presidential campaign - previewing a “big announcement” that looks certain to...
WASHINGTON: Former UN ambassador Nikki Haley has moved closer to the widely-expected launch of her US presidential campaign - previewing a “big announcement” that looks certain to confirm her as an early rival to frontrunner Donald Trump in the race for the Republican nomination.
The move would make her just the second declared Republican candidate and could set the stage for a more combative phase of the campaign, potentially putting her in the sights of the former US president.
Ms Haley’s campaign sent an email to supporters inviting them to a 15 February event in Charleston. There she will declare her candidacy, the sources said. “My family and I have a big announcement to share with you on February 15th! And yes, it’s definitely going to be a Great Day in South Carolina!” she tweeted, inviting supporters to turn out at an event in Charleston, the Palmetto State’s largest town.
South Carolina is expected to host one of the first Republican nominating primaries in 2024 and will play an important role in picking the eventual candidate. The daughter of two Indian immigrants, Nimrata “Nikki” Randhawa was raised in Bamberg, South Carolina as a Sikh, but now identifies as Christian. She is married to a South Carolina National Guard officer and has two children.
Ms Haley has gained a reputation in the Republican Party as a solid conservative who has the ability to address issues of gender and race in a more credible fashion than many of her peers. She has also pitched herself as a stalwart defender of US interests abroad, having served as US ambassador to the United Nations under Mr Trump from 2017 to 2018.
During that time, the United States pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, which was inked under Barack Obama and was highly unpopular among Republicans. One Haley associate said she chose to launch her campaign this early to try to grab voters’ attention and shake up a race that had so far been dominated by Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has not yet declared whether he will run.